¿Cuántos tipos de envases hay para la leche?

In the ever-evolving dairy industry, the way milk is packaged plays a pivotal role in determining its shelf life, sustainability, and accessibility. From traditional methods to cutting-edge technologies, a variety of milk packaging types have been developed to meet different preservation needs and consumer preferences. This comprehensive guide delves into the most common milk packaging options available, highlighting their unique features, benefits, and limitations.

  1. Tetra Pak: This packaging is a closed filling method, where milk is poured into a paper tube, then cut and sealed, leaving no air inside. Tetra Pak is a six-layer composite packaging made of paper, aluminum, and plastic. It effectively isolates milk from air, light, and water, allowing it to be stored at room temperature with a long shelf life. Tetra Pak Pillow has a shelf life of up to 45 days, while Tetra Pak Bricks can last 6 to 9 months. This technology combines high cost-effectiveness with low cost and is widely used in developed countries for milk packaging.
  2. Rooftop Box: Also known as a fresh house, this paper-plastic composite packaging features a roof-shaped carton made from multi-layer composite film. The outermost layer is a plastic film, the middle layer is fiber, and the inner layer is aluminum foil. Rooftop boxes, with their exquisite printing, are generally used for products like fresh milk, flavored milk, yogurt, and lactic acid beverages that have high nutritional value and require a fresh taste. They need to be refrigerated to maintain freshness, resulting in a relatively short shelf life for milk. The packaging materials for rooftop boxes are sourced from Tetra Pak, Japanese packaging paper, and domestic companies.
  3. Sterile Plastic Bags: The packaging material for sterile plastic bags is specially treated and includes a black coating inside to isolate light. Despite this treatment, the light-isolation effect cannot match that of aluminum foil due to the thinness of the bags. Consequently, the shelf life of milk stored at room temperature in these bags is about 30 days.
  4. Glass Bottle: Glass bottles represent traditional milk packaging. They are environmentally friendly, reusable, and cost-effective. Glass is non-toxic, odorless, transparent, and aesthetically pleasing, with excellent barrier properties. It is airtight and resistant to heat, pressure, and cleaning, and can be stored at various temperatures. However, glass bottles are inconvenient to carry, heavy, and prone to breaking.
  5. Bailey Bag: This packaging consists of a multi-layer sterile composite film, including three layers of black and white film, high-barrier 5-layer and 7-layer co-extruded films, and aluminum-plastic composite film. Depending on the materials used, the shelf life can range from 30 to 180 days. Bailey bags are a new, low-cost form of packaging, generally extending the shelf life of milk to about 45 days, which can be extended to 2 to 3 months with appropriate preservatives.
  6. Combibloc: Similar to Tetra Pak, Combibloc offers sterile packaging. However, it employs an “open” filling method, where milk is poured directly into the carton and the top is sealed by a machine after filling. The process ensures smooth filling under sterile air and positive pressure conditions, leaving a sterile air gap between the milk and the top of the box, which does not affect the milk’s quality.
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